The researchers reviewed 758 patients who underwent decompression procedures at a single center. The surgeons either routinely used an analgesic steroid paste or never used the paste. The patient demographics were similar in both groups. The researchers found:
1. Six of the 103 patients who received the steroid paste contracted acute infections.
2. Two of the 180 patients who didn't receive the paste contracted acute infections.
3. Seven of the eight patients who contracted infections had preoperative risk factors for infection identified before surgery.
4. The difference between the paste and non-paste groups was statistically significant.
5. The researchers concluded, "The present study confirms suspicions raised in preliminary studies, and we recommend caution when treating patients with identifiable, comorbid risk factors."
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